West Bromwich Albion have named Pepe Mel their new manager. The Baggies had been led by Keith Downing for the last five matches after the sacking of Steve Clarke.
Mel comes to West Brom from Real Betis, where he was fired on Dec. 2 after a slow start to the season. He had been with Betis for three years and guided them to a seventh-place finish and Europa League place just last season.
West Brom will be Mel's 10th club as a manager, but just his second outside of Spain. In addition to Betis, Mel managed Tenerife, Rayo Vallecano and Getafe, among others in Spain, with his lone venture outside the country being a one-year stint with Corinthians in Brazil.
The Spaniard will have a tough task ahead of him as he tries to turn around a team just four points clear of the drop zone. Worse, the Baggies have won just once since Nov. 2.
There are rumors the club will spend in January to fortify a side that could certainly use the help. They desperately need a left back to replace the struggling Liam Ridgewell, while they could look for a striker, especially if Shane Long is sold.